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Wings Over Scotland

Time-travel trauma

Posted on March 29, 2013 by

Frighteningly, Wings Over Scotland is fast approaching its 1,000th post (likely to happen sometime next week). Sometimes, for unknown reasons, someone will tweet a link to an old story I’d forgotten I’d written, and I’ll click to see what it was and get enraged as if I’d never seen it before and was just discovering it now.

Today was one of those days.

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    39 to “Time-travel trauma”

    1. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I missed that first time around.
      I used to live in N Lanarkshire, many years ago. The labour admin was rubbish then and loudly smelling of ordure nowadays.
      Are they still in power?

    2. Ghengis says:

      Is it too late to call the cops? I almost tweeted the story to:
      but refrained, since surely they’ve been all over that already.

    3. Jiggsbro says:

      I used to think that independence might allow ‘Scottish’ Labour to rescue itself. Somehow rebuild itself as a genuine Labour party. Then I start to think about just how embedded in all aspects of Scottish life the Labour party and its friends are, and just how little they care about anyone except themselves, and just how incomprehensibly entrenched their vote is, and I despair. We’ll be dealing with that cancer for a long time, I think.

    4. Morag says:

      I was born and brought up in north Lanarkshire, and my mother was also born and brought up in north Lanarkshire.

      Why do you think I have never in my life voted Labour, and would never, ever contemplate voting Labour?

    5. kininvie says:

      North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire….what is it with these places? Remember Larkhall & the traffic lights?
      “Traffic lights, with their green bulbs, are another victim. Between 2004 and 2007, 205 sets of traffic lights were smashed, costing the council nearly £17,000 to repair.”
      I have to confess that corruption and sectarianism at local level is one of my greatest worries about an independent Scotland. A ‘greener, fairer, Scotland’ isn’t going to cut much ice in some places. There’s deeply embedded ‘tradition’ on all kinds of levels (tacitly backed by councils in search of votes). It’s not pretty. I’d love to know how we can put a stop to it.

    6. Morag says:

      You think it will be worse after independence?  Why would it be?

      Scotland isn’t perfect, far from it, but thankfully we do not have to await that impossible perfection before voting for self-determination.

    7. kininvie says:

      @Morag No, I don’t necessarily think it will be worse, but I do worry that it will be thrown into sharper relief. I am trying to think of the problems we shall need to solve in an independent Scotland, and this seems to me far more intractable and damaging than most.

    8. douglas clark says:

      Rev Stu,
      I am on a bit of a campaign. Forgive me for posting this here first and on the site that deserves it second. I am as angry as can be with the Herald’s moderation policy.
      Anyway, this is what I wrote on an OBE comment. It will never appear, not in it’s entirety, so I thought your readers might be interested:
      I am getting a tad annoyed at the one man band that has the OBE.

      May I be specific?

      He had this to say:

      “I understand that the Communist Party has the highest membership of any party in China; and that the Korean Workers’ Party has the highest membership of any party in North Korea.”


      He has suggested, numerous times, that SNP members that post here do so on the basis of some sort of command from SNP Central.

      I have been a member of the SNP for quite a while and I can assure our chum with the OBE that I rarely read what the SNP has to say, and I have never, ever, been directed either to comment, nor on which way to comment.  Neither have I thought twice about whether my opinion was ‘in line’ with policy or not.

      That line is just ridiculous.

      For instance, I do not think that the Crown Colonies should revert to Westminster. I think they should be jointly administered.


      Because Diego Garcia explains why people with OBE’s and the like should not be trusted.

      It is perhaps worth pointing out that you will only see this post by the grace of the moderators on here. For I am in the Herald’s notion of purdah.  Or this paragraph will be redacted. In any event it will be delayed to the extent that it is meaningless.

      I have copied and pasted this elsewhere, as the mangement and their moderators here are shameless.”

      It is vaguely ridiculous that I am in moderation and he isn’t.

    9. Morag says:

      Kininvie, I think it might be easier to deal with if the whole union jack thing goes away.

      Last Sunday our church held a little Palm Sunday procession through the village.  We walked behind a donkey (called Moses) from the doctors’ surgery to the church, pausing to sing Ride on, ride on in majesty at the village clock.  We had a small impromptu band – anyone with an instrument, really.

      “Don’t call it a march,” said someone.  “We’ve been told we mustn’t call it a march!”

      “Why not?” I asked innocently.

      “Because people might think it’s an Orange Walk.”

      I looked down at the flute in my hands and wondered if I could stuff it up my jumper.

      I must have been the only kid in Lanarkshire who didn’t realise why the flute was such a popular instrument in the free music classes the Council provided.  When I found out what my mates in the Lanarkshire Youth Orchestra were doing at weekends, I was appalled.

      I’ve had people ask me if I’m a Catholic, for being so appalled.  No.  I’m just appalled, that’s all.

      Why do you think I’ve reverted to playing a descant recorder?

    10. Morag says:

      Douglas, I have never not been in moderation on the Herald.  I haven’t commented for many months, because it simply isn’t worth it.  Even if a comment appears it’s so delayed as to be meaningless in the context of a conversation.

      One comment I made that was never published referred to the West Midlands guy apparently camping on the web site to get the first comment in at one in the morning, or something like that.  Apparently that wasn’t something one was supposed to say.  Of course, a day later you can’t even tell that he’s posting there in the wee sma hoors to be on first.

    11. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I am as angry as can be with the Herald’s moderation policy.”

      I get maybe one comment in 20 past their moderators. None of them are abusive, use foul language or are in any other way objectionable. I’ve had entirely innocent ones about football rejected. No other newspaper site comes even remotely close to the censorship level – they’re the LabourHame of the media.

    12. douglas clark says:

      Which is why I raised the issue here and there. According to the Herald I am a very bad boy for posting late at night and using a hyperlink (?) to their own editorial context.
      Here is the correspondence.
      Dear Mr Clark,
      I note your comments. As predicted by you, your late-night post’s been removed.

      That’s because, in line with the moderating changes that have been made to other posts, they didn’t comply with the rules, which are clearly advertised on our site:

      In case you’re unable to open the link, I’ve pasted the rules below. It should be obvious to you why changes/deletions were made to comments on a site that we are unashamedly moderating strictly, and to general acclamation.

      It is, of course, up to you whether you wish to comment on our sites, but that has to be done within rules that have been carefully thought through and apply to all users.

      I didn’t understand your threat/promise to publish your post elsewhere, but I’m happy for this note to join it: it is, after all, simply an explanation of something that we state publicly, along with information on how to contact us if you have an issue.
      Finally, given the intemperance of your tone in last night’s post, and the flagrant breach of three rules it contained, I’ve suspended your pre-approved status to post. I realise that this may not matter to you, but you seemed keen to be kept informed.

      Regards, etc….
      My reply:
      Dear Calumn,
      I have posted the following on Bella Caledonia. Frankly it is not exactly supportive of your idea about what newspapers ought to be about. As it is not ring fenced perhaps you would care to read it and reply to it there? Because your own forum is, from my point of view, a tad tainted?
      Given your apparent willingness to debate, I feel that that ought to be on a public forum and not in an e-mail exchange. However, my comments below are a fairly damning indictment of how your ‘moderators’ have conducted themselves. It, frankly, beggars belief that an innocent link to the original source of your newspapers article would justify deletion and what moved from a potential automatic deletion of a link to, frankly, my anger at a newspaper that I have bought and cared about for a very long time. Anyway, here is the text:

      It is worse than that. They employ moderators to stifle reasonable discussion. Why would a link to the source of the article they commented on be deleted? Why would any responsible institution do that? One is minded to assume that the institution is not, in fact, responsible at all.

      Options include:

      Because they have an agenda of twisting a narrative?

      Well, that’s what it looks like from my perspective.

      I am no innocent with posting. I knew that my final post would be deleted. Because it challenged their world view. They are not ‘up’ for criticism of how they, rather pathetically, attempt to manipulate public opinion. Indeed their ‘rules’ are so widely drawn that they can mean anything that meets the commisars agenda. Where have we seen that before?

      A free press ought to be free, not in the back pocket of a cabal.

      This was genuinely dirty journalism and a honey trap.

      I am willing to admit that I fell for it.

      I am frankly disgusted with a newspaper that I bought for about thirty years.

      Yes, it’s apparently just  a spat on the internet. But it is actually a lot bigger than that. Newspapers are suppressing information, and that is totally unacceptable.

      What possible justification can the Herald have for dis-allowing a link to the very topic that they were commenting on? I, for one, think they just thought they could and that their narrative flow would be uninterrupted. This is my attempt to correct that.

      There is power, which they have, and there is abuse of it.

      They appear to somewhat relish in that too.

      I would like an apology from Calumn Macdonald, because his ferocious protection of his wee chums has put him in the odd position of alienating me and probably many others.

      I have replied to Mr Macdonald using this post as a template. It will be ‘interesting’ to see whether he replies here. He appears to see himself on the side of light and virtue, so he should have no problems whatsoever in replying to me.


      douglas clark
      Well, as far as I know Calumn McDonald didn’t reply to me on Bella Caledonia.
      I am sick of the Heralds’ half-hearted moderation policy. They are even lying to themselves!
      Calumn McDonald is a bit of a twat, as far as I am concerned. Can I be clear? Unionist shite is OK, my shite is not OK. He can go…….


    13. Albert Herring says:

      I made a totally innocuous comment on their rather ridiculous and ignorant “Where is the satire” article which has unsurprisingly failed to appear. Predictably OBE managed to get a comment in though. Maybe they’d like it better if we all gave up and left it to OBE and W Midlands. I’m sure their advertisers would love it too.

    14. douglas clark says:

      I gave their moronic censor Calumn, the chance to debate my case on Bella Caledonia.
      He didn’t because he couldn’t.
      Arrogant little prick.

      I know more about good moderation than he has had hot dinners. It does not include, and never has, protecting any editorial line nor any journalists. It is about protecting facts from fools.
      Folk that apply moderation on any other basis are, well, just using an allegedly neutral role for the perpetration of bias. And these folk pretend that they are being fair?

      Well, fuck that.

      Is it wrong to call a newspaper to account for being a Janus? Apparently it is. And especially if you say it after midnight.

    15. velofello says:

      Which organisations provided the loan capital for the PFI projects? Surely not the banks that we Joe Public are having to bailout? And who is behind Serco, a company that seems to have risen from the depths without a ripple?
      Ever felt that you earnings are being harvested like crops in the field?
      Is it possible that the Establishment believe that we must never be allowed to be free from poverty and so ensure we continue to exist as drone bees? 

    16. The Man in the Jar says:

      Ah good old NLC. Before I offend anyone I know that there are good and bad people everywhere and most of the bad are actually the victims of despair, but NLC is one great shit-hole. I won’t launch into my “Rivers of Buckfast” speech right now but it seems that little changes. How have they got away with it for so long? My MSP McMahon is your typical NLC / Labour councillor promoted way above his abilities. His daughter Siobhan McMahon was controversially employed as his parliamentary researcher and became an MSP in 2011. Not that NLC is new to gerrymandering and nepotism refer to link at bottom.
      Until recently I worked in and around North Lanarkshire. It is just so depressing. Everywhere has that run down feeling. The people have a look of resigned hopelessness. It must have some of the worst housing estates in Scotland. These estates get renewal programs where money is spent renovating houses and bringing in housing associations. Give it a few years and it is back to business as usual.
      Scotland local government needs a major overhaul. There are some councils that need to be taken apart and rebuilt completely. NLC would be the top of my list. I believe that Inverclyde is not far behind there are probably a lot more. A radical rethink of local government required. For the sake of the inhabitants at least.

    17. douglas clark says:

      Any West of Scotland Labour fiefdom whatsoever? I have no truck with any of them. They ‘represent’ me in a way I find disgusting.

      Just saying…….

    18. The Man in the Jar says:

      @douglas clark
      A labour council also represents me. Having said that one that has a little bit of balance within its councillors. (Not a lot!)
      Westminster has dictated how local government works in Scotland. I hope that after a Yes vote the Scottish Government has a radical rethink on district councils. Something more effective than the merry-go –round we have now. That is assuming that labour in Scotland don’t have anything to do with it. Something tells me that they would only make things worse.

    19. mato21 says:

      There are some really interesting articles on this blog about Lanarkshire councils among other things You need to scroll down

    20. kininvie says:

      @Morag:  Part of the problem is that all local parties collude in pursuit of votes. I resigned from my party for several years after failing to get them to remove a ‘cultural grant’ for flute bands from their council manifesto. I’d like to think all this would go away with no Union Jack – but I doubt it. Man in the Jar is right – there will need to be a radical restructuring, but how to do it…?

    21. Morag says:

      Buy them violins?

      I don’t think we can solve everything at once.  Let’s get independence first and cross other bridges when we come to them.

    22. Albert Herring says:

      LOL. Even better, buy them lutes (lutes, flutes – what’s the difference?) – they’d spend 90% of their time trying to get the damn things in tune (and the other 10% playing out of tune!).
      Maybe encouraging Rantic in their long held desire to decamp to Englandshire would help too.

    23. Morag says:

      That’s worse than the viola d’amore joke I heard the other day.  (That was “half the time tuning the thing and the other half playing out of tune.”)

      Viols are the absolute pits, though.  All these wee gizmos they clip to the bridge, and they still sound like hell.

      Said from the smug heights of woodwindsville, where we can’t do a damn thing about the tuning anyway, half the time.

    24. douglas clark says:

      Anyway, it is good to have a site like this where we are not censored for stating the truth. I imagine the Herald’s censors work the day shift only, being bureaucratic little monsters.
      In response to this shite:

      SCOTLAND should beware the economic woes of small states like Cyprus and Iceland and think twice before leaving the UK, according to the New York Times.

      In an editorial opinion column, the American paper claimed that, since the 1707 Union, Scotland had “benefited disproportionately from the spoils of the British Empire”. It added: “Looking at the financial woes of small, independent European states Scottish voters may want to think twice about going it alone.”

      Kevin Pringle, the SNP’s communications chief, has written to the paper, pointing out Scotland’s GDP per head “places us eighth in the OECD league table of wealthy nations – the United Kingdom is 17th“.

      I have written into, I assume a brick wall, this:
      Utterly stupid opinion by the New York Times. Quite why the Herald is feart to say that is beyond me. What ‘financial woes’ does it mean, compared to the UK’s own?

      Ridiculous opinion by the NTY and ridiculous that the Herald can’t put a bit of perspective on it. Both Iceland and Eire are avoiding the UK’s triple did recession and Norway hasn’t even had a recession.

      This newspaper is becoming increasingly unable to comment in any intelligent way on the issue of Scottish independence. It now assumes that the NYT is a reliable arbitrator, when it clearly isn’t. The lack of any criticism whatsoever, by the newspaper itself, rather than by Kevin Pringle, suggests that it is of the NYT’s persuasion.

      I am posting this elsewhere, as the Herald can’t stand criticism for it’s more ridiculous posts and fanboy unionists.

      Good night, and good luck. Anyone that thinks this is balanced journalism is a fool.


    25. douglas clark says:

      ‘Undefined’ above is me. You kind of knew that?

    26. The Man in the Jar says:

      @douglas clark
      What I cant understand is why this lot. – See link below. Continue to vote for Westminster controlled, unionist, red white and blue Labour and would not vote for the Scottish National Party if hell froze over?
      Mato, thanks for that link. A lot to get through, any pointers?

    27. douglas clark says:

      OK we’ll see where this goes. Michael Settle posted this on the Herald:
      “LEADING Scottish politicians are calling for a UK-wide constitutional convention to draw up a new settlement for the four parts of the British state should Scots reject independence in next year’s referendum.

      The Herald has been told there is a growing expectation across all three main parties at Westminster that the promise of a comprehensive look at the UK constitutional settlement – should Scots vote No to independence – will be included in the 2015 General Election manifestos of the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats.
      “The independence referendum should not be seen as the end of the process,” said Sir Malcolm Bruce, the Liberal Democrat MP for Gordon. “We have got to a point, assuming after the referendum Scotland stays in the UK, where we have different sets of powers in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England; in many cases, UK ministers are English ministers. We need a constitutional convention to work out how those powers are best distributed.”
      Labour’s Lord Foulkes, the former Scotland Office Minister, pointed out, constitutionally, there were “a lot of loose ends”.
      Supporting the convention idea, he said: “All the constitutional changes undertaken by several governments have been piecemeal and we have ended up with a range of anomalies. We now need to look at the constitution in a comprehensive way.”
      He added: “One of the advantages of having a constitutional convention will be that we can make it clear to the people of Scotland we’re going to look at the devolution settlement in a comprehensive way and we will consult the people on what further changes might be appropriate for Scotland.”
      Eleanor Laing, Conservative MP for Epping Forest, who sits on the Commons Scottish Affairs Committee, also insisted there had been too many “knee-jerk reactions” to constitutional reform. “It’s wrong to fiddle about with it for short-term political gain and what we need is a longer-term, broader look at how different issues affect the constitution in different ways.”
      The Scot said she would “not be surprised at all” if the Tories put such a commitment in their election manifesto.
      One senior Scottish Conservative suggested a commitment to a UK-wide convention would be in David Cameron’s 2015 manifesto, saying such an inquiry following a No vote made “perfect sense” and was “in line with what the party is saying in Scotland”.
      The new body – possibly using the 1988 Scottish Constitutional Convention as its model – could draw not only on political parties, but also on the business community, the trade unions, churches, charities and other civic institutions.
      In the event of a No vote in the 2014 referendum, it could be established shortly after the next General Election to look at more powers for Holyrood, greater devolution for England, the Barnett Formula and House of Lords reform. Agreement on Lords reform could mean senators for a new-look second chamber being elected in 2020.
      Sir Malcolm said he was hoping for a cross-party consensus going into the 2015 election. “I’m looking for a commitment from all parties that they agree this is the right approach, that they recognise a number of issues need addressed and that together we are resolved to look at them.”
      LibDem colleague Alistair Carmichael, the Coalition’s Deputy Chief Whip, said he too was, personally, in favour of a constitutional convention.
      “One of the advantages of this approach is that the SNP – which has always refused to work with other parties, whether it was in the previous constitutional convention, on the campaign for a Scottish Assembly or on the Calman Commission – won’t have an excuse for sitting it out.”
      However, an SNP spokesman said: “These calls simply underline that a Yes vote for independence in next year’s referendum is the only decision we can take in Scotland which will give Scotland the powers we need to build a strong economy and fair society. A No vote is a vote for nothing; a Westminster veto applies to any further devolution, which we know from bitter experience has held Scotland back.”
      Which begs a whole lot of questions. Here are a few of mine that I have submitted to the Herald and are unlikely to see the light of day.

      “Where is the commentary by Michael Settle?  What analysis has he done of these claims?

      Does he believe a word of this?

      “The Herald has been told there is a growing expectation across all three main parties at Westminster that the promise of a comprehensive look at the UK constitutional settlement – should Scots vote No to independence – will be included in the 2015 General Election manifestos of the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats.”

      Did he just accidentally fail to remember past promises by Sir Alex Douglas Hume, amongst others?

      It is all very well to be the mouthpiece of unionist politicians. It would be at least honest to recall their failures to deliver in the past.

    28. Stuart Black says:

      @Douglas, here’s a part of a reply from Calum McDonald to a simple request for information as to why a comment of mine was rejected, at third time of submission.
      The only comment I’ve seen from you today came in an hour ago, and couldn’t really be posted because it was full of remarks about the moderating process, which isn’t allowed, and had very little of substance about the subject.
      Full of remarks about… I stated that my previous posts had not appeared and wondered if it was because I had posted a link to an official government website. See me? Full of it…
      The actual post, that had very little substance about the subject, was in regard of Willie NoNo’s claim about the 14,000 treaties we would have to negotiate, I gave examples – lifted from the Rev’s article 🙂 – and mentioned the link so that others could actually see for themselves the content and nature of these 14,000 stumbling blocks. 
      Meanwhile JM, MM, and Terry Kelly are free to make ad hominem attacks with no bearing – are you listening Calum – no bearing on whatever article they post on, and in fact are given free rein to post the most unadulterated shite, day in, day out.
      I’m a wee bit angry, can you tell?

    29. velofello says:

      @ Morag: “Why do you think I reverted to playing a descant recorder?”.- because its easier and none of that embouchure stuff?

    30. Morag says:

      It’s not easier at all, in fact.  All that forked fingering, and no keys and pads to help.  And only a two-octave range, practically speaking.  And having to hack your left thumb-nail so short you can’t peel an orange with it. Oh yes, and not having hands big enough to handle a treble easily (the flute is ideal if you take kiddie sizes in gloves), so you’re the one exposed on the top line.

      Actually, it’s just a lot easier to find recorder action than flute action these days, as Early Music has undergone such a revival.  I’m spoiled for choice with recorder and early music workshops.  I get to play my flute in church tomorrow evening at an Easter service, and that will be it till Christmas I suppose.

    31. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Morag and others.
      I hope that I get this right.
      Q. What is the definition of discord?
      A. The noise made when someone throws an accordion into a skip and it lands on a banjo!

    32. Albert Herring says:

      @The Man in the Jar
      No, that’s the best sound an accordion can make!

    33. Morag says:

      I will set the ghost of Jimmy Shand on the lot of you.

    34. The Man in the Jar says:

      Just for you!

    35. Morag says:


    36. cirsium says:

      @Douglas  – I saw the Herald headline while out shopping.  So, the polls suggest that all that is needed for a YES win is a 5% swing and hey presto! all the unionist parties are now talking about considering UK-wide constitutional change.

    37. velofello says:

      @ Ach Morag I thought you would hit indignant top C with my “easier” remark.
      My musical travel through life has been cornet in a brass band whilst a pimply youth, much later guitar and now fiddle. I like the fiddle since having no frets you can “blues’ the notes at will. My opinionated view is that fretless string instruments, and wind instruments enable the player full opportunity of expression..A brass band playing well, well breathes. 
      My granddaughter has started piano lessons, and yes, I’ll now have a go too at the piano.I can’t have the little dear lording it over me and explaining chord progressions. Something about the Circle of Fifths.

    38. Morag says:

      Hah!  I was just given a list of the hymns for tonight.  (Rubbish tunes every one apart from See the conquering hero comes which should be forbidden in Scotland in my book.)  I remarked, I can bring along a recorder as well if you like.  The descant recorder having some brilliant high notes for triumphal passages.

      Then I saw the actual hymns.  Key signatures a mess of sharps and flats, practically every damn one of them.  The flute is going out tonight.  The recorder is very definitely staying home.  I’ll give you “easier”!

      I’ll play the Handel music, thinking, we’re getting to the end of this.  Everything we lost, from our king and our parliament and Culloden and the clearances and so on right up to the oil, the Easter after next we’ll be on our way to getting back.

    39. Morag says:

      In the interests of strict accuracy, the recorder came too and played two hymns.  Some passages are easier, if there’s a lot of footering around in the bottom octave.  And it saves transposing up the octave at sight when you’re busy fighting an oboe and a trumpet.

      (And it was pretty impromptu, because the conductor had to shoot off to Inverness at no notice for a family emergency, leaving the music on his computer and nobody able to print the parts, so we were all improvising from copies of parts the trumpeter had made from the hymn book for his 10-year-old daughter, one half of the infant violin section.  Ain’t village life interesting…?)

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